‘‘It’s not that women are better than men, but the CFA is better for embracing diversity including women. We’re together, we are supporting the organisation to achieve the best outcomes.’’
These were the words spoken by one of three women presenters at an event in Shepparton yesterday, celebrating the role of women in the Country Fire Authority.
Colleen Furlanetto, Laura Tierney and Sarah Howson shared stories about being involved in the organisation at the ‘‘Press for Progress’’ event.
Former Strathbogie Mayor and disability advocate Mrs Furlanetto shared her journey about being a woman living with a disability.
‘‘International Women’s Day is not about bagging men, I see myself as someone who wants equality and equity for everyone,’’ Mrs Furlanetto said.
‘‘The traditional role of a woman within the CFA was making the sponges and sandwiches — times change. We need diversity on the field and in the office.’’
Ms Tierney has been working since 2016 for the CFA, where she has undertaken multiple roles including being a member of the District 24 Women’s Reference Group.
‘‘We surveyed women in our district — about 120 people completed it — and ran an event last year about the roles women could do in the CFA,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re addressing the issues for current female members rather than focusing on attracting new members. You need to clean the house before inviting people over.’’
Ms Howson joined the Bright Fire Brigade as a volunteer in 2014 and has since began a full-time firefighting role in Craigieburn.
‘‘Today is about celebrating women in fire service, we are the minority,’’ she said.
‘‘On station I was the only girl for the first few years. I love my job and the unexpected joys I get in driving the fire truck and seeing the joy on a young girl’s face when she sees it’s a woman.’’
One of the key priorities of the CFA is to recruit females and new members under the age of 55, for more information head to www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers